2015 Favorites: Beauty

2015 has been a great year for beauty. While most (if not all) of my last years’ favorites still stand, I have found a few products that I wouldn’t want to miss from my collection, from drugstore to high end.

2015 Beauty Favorites

The Body Shop Camomile range is a great one all over. I have raved about the Cleansing Oil before as its a great option for make-up removal, but the Sumptuous Cleansing Butter has proven to be a reliable and convenient travel companion that breaks down make-up just as easily and rinses away clean without leaving the skin stripped.

For eye cream, I have relied on the Balea Urea Eye Cream, a drugstore staple that performs well at a very reasonable price. This is nice and hydrating and leaves my undereye area well prepared for concealer. It keeps dehydration lines from being too apparent and helps to make my heavy duty concealing look less cakey. All in all, it’s a winner.

Speaking of undereyes, the Clarins Instant Light Concealer has been a great option for concealing my dark circles this year. While the packaging is a bit messy, the product inside is failsafe. It conceals nicely without caking up or looking heavy. The formula is dewy, so it does need some setting, but it looks beautifully natural.

A more recent discovery, but one I wouldn’t want to miss, is the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. A great shade for the lightest of skin tones, this bronzer looks natural as it is shimmer free but not muddy or dirty looking. I have even used this as an eyeshadow before and while the prominent cocoa scent takes some getting used to, it has fast become a staple in my collection.

Another staple that has made the cut two years in a row is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. With its three shades of powder conveniently housed together in a slim compact, this has been great for traveling and has covered my powder needs from setting to bronzing and brightening.

The Anastasia Brow Wiz is on its way of becoming a forever favorite as well as it is a quick and easy way of getting natural, defined brows. Combined with the somehow brilliant spooly on the other end, this waxy, fine pencil is an absolute all-rounder for my brows and has kept me from reaching for anything else.

Finally, there’s Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk. As with most of these products, I have already sung its praises, but this lip liner is such a great formula in a beautiful, flattering shade that I have to mention it again. The color is one that goes with just about every make-up look and the longevity of the pencil promises a fuss free lip color that will last all day. What’s not to love?

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Merry Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everybody!

As the picture above suggests, I’ll be stuffing my face with delicious food for the rest of the year and relax with family and friends.

With only a couple of posts left in 2015, I’m already looking forward for everything the new year has to offer, but for now, I’m content with kicking back and enjoying a few quiet and cozy days back home.

Zoeva Cat Eye Liner

In my teens, eyeliner was a must and a part of my daily routine. But now that my days of wearing all black all the time and coloring my hair funky colors are long gone, my liner skills have deteriorated to almost none-existent.

After a short love-affair with gel liners a few years back, I’ve been relying on liquid eyeliners in my stash to curb the occasional need for a sharp cat eye (or as close as I can get).

The Zoeva Cat Eye Liner in Blackest Black has been the best affordable option that I have found in recent years. Zoeva in general is a line that has become known for its great quality at a reasonable price and I for one truly appreciate this.

Zoeve Cateye Eyeliner Pen

So the eyeliner is a simple felt tip that is pretty easy to navigate around the lid. It is flexible and nicely shaped so there’s no weird angles to work around. The color is opaque in a few swipes but tends to slightly flake off if you go over it too many times, so make sure to either get the line done quickly or let it fully dry down between coats. It dries to a somewhat glossy finish that goes great with certain looks, but if you want a more matte look to your liner, this is easily rectified with a quick swipe of powder or pencil.

The only thing I can rely lament here is that the liner dries out pretty quickly. It does have a good closure, but as is the nature of these kinds of products, they are not the longest lasting. I think it is the felt tip that doesn’t retain moisture for long, but at a few Euros, it is pretty easy and affordable to replace this every once in a while.

High-End Beauty Wishlist

Seeing as the holidays are coming up fast, I thought it was only fitting to do another wish list. This one is strictly high-end and albeit small, it is filled with a few goodies I cannot wait to get my hands on.

High End Beauty Wishlist 2015

The Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate has been high on my list ever since I tried it out on the back of my hand and felt just how hydrating and smoothing this serum really is. I think this would be the perfection companion for the colder months as it adds an extra layer of hydration without any fuss.

Another trip to the Charlotte Tilbury counter seems inevitable and I’ve got my eyes on the beautiful Dolce Vita Eyeshadow Quad. This warm-toned set is just gorgeous and the chunky gold glitter makes it an absolute must for the festive season. I’ve swatched these shadows before and they are super soft and pigmented, so I think they’re well worth the investment.

Finally, I’ve spotted this limited edition travel set from Becca called Glow on the Go. It contains a smaller size of the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed and the Spotlight Wand, both in the shade Opal. I’m always up for a glow-inducing, full-on highlight, and this set delivers just that in both powder and liquid form.

Soap & Glory Favorites

To me, Soap & Glory is one of the most fun and consistently good beauty brands on the market. Much like Benefit, they combine quirky slogans and cute packaging with high-quality products. They’re also pretty reasonably priced, so it is no surprise that I have corralled quite the collection of favorites from their brand.

My love for the Ultimelt Cleanser has been well-documented, but seeing as it is not on their website anymore and on sale in a lot of places, I am afraid that it is being discontinued and I have to wean myself off of it.

Soap & Glory Favorites

The first product I was introduced to, however, is their amazing Flake Away Body Scrub. This contains a good amount of oils that leave the skin nourished but not sticky. The scrub itself is a great consistency that is effective without being to harsh and the classic Soap & Glory smell is too die for. The only thing I found with this is that the oils tend to clog up my razor, so I make sure to wash the scrub off with a good amount of shower gel before starting to shave,

The Hand Food Hand Cream comes with the same yummy smell as the scrub and is a good hand lotion for on the go as it sinks in quickly without much of a residue. The smell is prominent but not cloying and the formula is light while deeply nourishing. I would recommend getting the squeeze tube rather than the pump container because I had the bigger size go bad on me after a while. The scent is not so great once it turns, so I think it better to stick to the smaller size that gets used up more quickly and is more convenient anyway.

Finally, in my trifecta of the original S&G scent is the Clean on Me Shower Gel. This creamy body wash provides the same beautiful scent that stays on the skin for a good while and is nice enough to replace your regular perfume. This is a gorgeous creamy product that does not dry out the skin, so it’s a great pick for winter.

Music Monday #13: The National

There are some bands and albums that, for me, just scream fall. Brand New is one of them and my most recent discovery The National, falls into the same vein of gloomy, solemn indie rock.

Now The National are not a new band. In fact, they have been around for years, but this has been one of those cases where you’ve heard of a band forever but somehow never checked them out. Had I known I would love their music so much, I definitely wouldn’t have waited this long.

The National

A few weeks ago, I picked up their album High Violet on vinyl and I have enjoyed it tremendously. The songs Terrible Love and Bloodbuzz Ohio have shot straight to the top of my most listened to songs and the vibe of the album just fits so well with this time of year.

My favorite however, must be their latest release, Trouble Will Find Me. It has the same gloomy, thoughtful quality, but somehow combines it with a hit-worthy pop aesthetic, much like their earlier releases.

I have become a huge fan and it’s nice to be able to have access to a quite large back catalogue. I’m sure The National will be on heavy rotation for years to come.